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tv   ABC2 News at 6PM  ABC  September 18, 2009 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT

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that's a 72-inch water main that ruptured under the burning highway under the dundalk avenue. it has been sending walls of water straight across dundalk avenue into the street, a shopping center and a neighborhood behind it. you can see one of the issues is when this 72-inch main ruptured it caused problems with other pipes. that is a pipe under the road sign on the median strip. that's the problem they are facing here. not only did the 72-inch main break it has caused other problems. fireman are in wet suits. they are really to stand by in case somebody is trapped inside their house and they need to go in and get them. if you look past the fireman you can see the whole neighborhood over there, as well. that's where they have had flooding in basements and homes.
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a lot of people have had problems. we got a call from someone earlier about a man with his five kids inside their house. they had to go up to the second floor because the water was coming in so hard and fast. this happened about 4:00 when the 72-inch main went up. sending walls of water across the street. the main goes down, you can see from up high, you can get a better look, it goes up under burning highway and ruptured in that area there. came through dundalk avenue and continued to roll. lots of water. there were people in the shopping center. a lot of cars had to come out. there were some cars, we were been told, at one point, the water was up to at least the bottom of the door well and going inside of the cars. in some of the neighborhoods, as well, that's where it is. that part sits lower. if you can look at the topography of the land you can
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see where the water is. it is making a gradual slope down. housing are behind the shopping center where people have been affected. they have had water come in their basementand on to the first floor. we have been keeping an eye on this. the streets are narrow. there are a lot of cars and traffic. people have been trying to get in and out. it has been incredible to see. anybody trying to travel down this area you might as well forget it. dundalk avenue is blocked off from bell claire back to this way. there is no way to get through. it is causing problems trying to route traffic around as people want to come by and look. most people have been standing on the side streets. they are narrow and difficult for the residents to get through along with extra cars. the best thing you can do is stay out of this area for now and let the police, if fire and also the department of public works get a handle on this in order for them to shut it off. it has been running for two
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hours. part of the problem is trying to find the main that may control that. as you know the system of water pipes in the city is vast. finding out where the valves that control that are very difficult to find. they are looking at maps. they are trying to make sure they can get an assessment of this. we know, as well, that every available department of public work crew is on their way down here to try to see what they can do with this. they have to not only look at the 72-inch pipe that was damage but any other pipe underbeneath that were damaged. there is other pipes destroyed. not only do they have to fix the 72-inch pipe they have to fix other pipes underneath. there is utilities they have to deal with. let along the damage to dunhaven highwaydundalk avenue. this is work that will take
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several weeks to get a handle on what's going on out there. >> damage will be in the millions, no doubt. i wanted to let you know while you are talking we are taking aerial pictures from wjla. we have a sense of a neighborhood behind you to the south where some streets are flooded. cars are completely under water. some areas waist-deep in water. some houses are spared. it depended on how the flow of the water went. on the power of the water, that highway is such a substantial road because it is built for industrial vehicles coming in and out of that marine terminal. that's not a whimpy street. >> reporter: we are talking about a big, heavy concrete road. it was built for truck traffic. the port is over there. part of the issue is that how are they going to make sure
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this road is back up to scratch eventually to carry the truck traffic. this is a major road as far as getting back and forth to port. that's another issue they'll have to solve out here as they try to put the infrastructure back together here. >> i think the only bright spot we have been hearing out of this so far is we have heard of no injuries so far. we have heard of isolated rescues and seen some of the boats in the area from the reese cue crews looking for people. but we just got a phone call from a woman who lives around there and she says she has relatives in the 3400 block of long view drive trapped in their house. now they are starting to see the water come into the house. they are getting worried about that. >> reporter: that is one of the things here. come up here joe and we can show you better. if you look over here you can see there are firemen in wet suits along with water craft out here.
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that's how deep the water is. they are ready to go in and try to help anybody out. as calls come into them they'll make sure they can get the units out here. baltimore county and baltimore city came out and brought all the resources they could to get out here and handle any potential problems out here. one issue is swift water rescue. they have crews around cogginsville area. there is a lot of problems out here. they want to make sure they are able to handle any type of problem. having the crews out here is fantastic to say the least. >> bill, can you tell me anything real quick? this is bill with the baltimore county police department. >> at the moment they are trying to sort everything out. maybe 72 square blocks of water. they are asking people to stay in here their homes. not to come out. go to a highier floor. if you are on a highier floor
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open a window. no evacuations at this moment. if we have to then we'll find the people who need to be evacuated. right now stay in your homes and go to a highier level. >> and hope that the water will come down eventually. >> the water will come down at some point or another they'll manage to shut this thing off. right now stay home. but on a highier floor. >> reporter: you had a question. >> i do. i wanted to let him know since he seems to have contact with everyone he needs to there is a family of the 3400 block of logan view drive and they feel they need to be rescued. >> again, ask those folks to go to a highier floor rather than stay down where the water is. if they have a highier floor go there. >> reporter: we'll take care of
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that. that's bill with the baltimore county police department. he is a spokesperson there. that's good advice. if you are watching this and you are in the neighborhood go to a highier floor and try to stay out of the water. they have crews on the scene. it is not going to flood out a house right now. there is a lot of neighborhoods where the water is waist deep. they don't want people to panic and try to walk through that stuff. the best thing to do now, if you are in a house or we get anymore calls tell folks open a window on an upper floor. open the window and stick something out to let fire department and rescue workers know there is somebody in the house so if they have to go in and get them they can. >> we'll keep your shot up to keep looking at the water main. we have ashley on the phone. you have family in the affected area? >> yes, i do. >> when was the last time you spoke with them? >> i talked to my brother about 15 minutes ago.
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he was really worried he said the cops were telling him to stay in the house. >> described what he described to you. >> he said that the water was up to his porch an inch from coming into the door. >> and he is on what street? >> logan view drive. you just looked at his house. >> oh, we did. >> i just seen him and he's standing out front. >> you have the use of one phone at this point. i'm wondering if you can call him and let him know that the police and fire rescue have asked that people go in and wave a white rag out of the window to let them know that they would like to be rescued out of their house or they think they need to be. >> as soon as i get off the phone with you i'll give him a call back. >> have you ever seen anything like this in your life? >> not at all. this is amazing.
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scary. very scary. >> i gather you know the roads well. single-family homes? >> most are. it is mostly original homes with a lot of old people in them. i'm sure they are scared. >> sure. that is concern. >> who is with your brother? >> his mother and his little sister. >> did he say how they were holding up? >> his mother is freaking out. she doesn't know what to do. her daughter tried to go out of the house. she went crazy on her and made her come back in. >> i guess you can't stress enough they need to stay in the house. i see people on the yards. looks like some of the houses are up on hills. they are being proteched from the -- protected from the water rushing down the streets. there are pools in the backyards as well from these shots. i know you are concerned. you are not going to try to make your way over there. >> i wanted to but there is no way i can. i was ready to get on a trash
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can and start brooming over there but i'll just get stuck to. >> what is your brothers name? >> christopher. >> maybe before you go you can leave us his phone number and we can check in on him. >> you can try to call him. his phone haven't been working right. >> don't do it over the air. you can call him and give him our number. we can talk with him. we just spoke with the spokesperson from baltimore county police and let him know about the address. i get the feeling they'll be rescued if they are in eminent danger. i'm sure they have thought about taking belongings and moving them upstairs. >> they have all our animals up and electronics up. >> we have even mentioned the pets. i have begun to think about that. >> a lot of people have dogs and small animals in that area, too.
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>> thank you very much for talking with us. we appreciate it. good luck to the people you love who are living in dundalk right now. >> thank you very much. we are at the official command post to get more information about this developing and incredible scene. we are waiting for many folks to arrive. you can tell from the phone call you had with ashley it is an intense situation. now with folks feeling it is unsayre where they need to be rescued this makes danny and his friends luckier. they were caught in that flooding. danny come over here and tell
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me what happened. where were? you were about to go shopping in the plaza? >> we came into the pawnshop. we came towards the grocery store. the whole parking lot loaded up with water so we stopped. a cop came over and told us to leave. we headed around the back way to see how far out it went. we didn't realize that it came up so fast. by the time we got to the far end of the parking lot into the street the car was up to the hood with water. it started to stall out a little bit but it kept going. >> reporter: how difficult was it to navigate through the heavy water. eventually you made your way out. >> it wasn't too hard. you have to remember it is a whole parking lot under the water there is potholes everywhere. i didn't want to drop the car down in a pothole. there have a car in front of me, a larger suv and that stalled out in front of me. we had go around that. >> reporter: pretty scary. >> i thought it was fun.
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>> reporter: fun because you actually lucked out and didn't get hurt. let's go around and take a look at what the hood looks like. you can see the sediment and the dust left behind from where the water was rising. tell me what it looks like from your perspective. you are in the passenger seat? >> i was in the backseat. from the back the water, i could see over the hood and the water over the top of the hood. from the backseat i saw on the side it was about up to here on to the side of the car full of water. >> reporter: were you ever afraid it would get inside the car at all? >> no. >> reporter: you are lucky you got up your car might need a car wash but you are out and fine. >> about the go get a car wash. >> reporter: thank you so much. glad you are safe.
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like we said we are half a block away. if you can look on dundalk avenue you can see the state highway crews are here. you can see many other officials trying to gain hold of the situation. beg crews are working underground trying to figure out what happened here. we know that 72-inch main water break. it is a tense situation. a spokesperson from the dpw said it is going to take a very long time to get this situation under control. main priority is getting folks safe and sound who live in that area. a lot of roads blocked off. a lot of folks offering assistance. stay tuned. try to be safe if you are out there. >> we know you are in the location where county executive jim smith will be arriving. we'll check back with you to get information on possible
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injuries or rescues. let's take a look at the aerial aerials. you can see a boat there. one of the shots of the the day was a gentlemen in his kayak kayaking through dundalk. there is a neighbor on her fence. police are reminding people to stay in their houses. go to highier ground. a lot of people want to get close to the water to see what they can see. cars are stuck. we continue to follow this massive watermain break. we'll be back with more in a moment. - buongiorno. - ( speaks italian )
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back with breaking news. massive water main break in dundalk. right now the water has been flowing more than two hours. you are looking at live aerials. you can see the fire truck making its way through the water. there are rescue teams in the
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neighborhoods. flooding is covering a 72- square block of area. we are near scene at the staging area where all the officials are coming to get information including our county executive jim smith. >> reporter: county executive arrived on the scene ten minutes ago. what's the latest? >> baltimore city water department is trying to locate the right valve to turn off the water. we have the flow of water coming knee-deep to chest-deep in areas. we are asking for people to stay in their homes. don't go out in the water. don't let your family members go out in the water. stay in your home. we have fire and police rescue teams on the scene. we have swift water boat rescue teams on the scene. we have had to rescue a few people. it is the people who went out in the water. we don't want you going out in the water and driving. if you have and energy call 9-1-
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1. we have command center on the scene. immediately they can get you a rescue, if that's necessary and get you medical or emergency treatment. >> reporter: we were talking about how quickly this advanced to an emergency situation. but how quickly crews responded. that's a credit to baltimore county. >> it is also a credit to the partnership and the collaboration we have had with baltimore city. i have been called by the governor. i have been called by david craig from harford county offering assistance that's needed. we have plenty of personal here. it is a matter of locating the valve and getting it turned off. >> reporter: is this an all-night sitwag? >> yes, because of cleanup. >> reporter: main message is folks should stay in their
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home. >> right now it is shelter in place. don't go in the the water. we have managed except getting the valved turned off. we are working on that. >> reporter: we have to be patient. i think mary beth is asking a question. >> i know his first concern is safety for the residents. he must be thinking about how much this is going to cost. in the millions. that this will mean for this community. >> reporter: mary beth says we understand your concern about the safety for residents here but there is the bottom line that this will cost a lot of money at the end of the day to repair the damage that's been done today. have you begun to think about that. >> we didn't think about the money. we thought about the people and the property. we'll respond to this the same way we responded to isabelle. we'll be there to do the repairs and help the people affected by this disaster. >> reporter: i know it is a
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busy day for you. we'll throw it back to you. that's the latest here. >> thank you. that's good to hear. there will be a lot of people in dundalk who will need help. we'll take a quick break. the new mcdonald's bacon and cheese angus third pounder.
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good news the water has stopped flowing from the 72-everyone main. big giant rocks are in the road. pieces of pipe. already since the walter water is going down they are going through neighborhoods to make sure people are okay. they got the water shut off. that's the first bit of good news we have had in two hours that the water from the 72-inch main has stopped. stay with abc 2 news and abc2news.com. we'll continue to bring you information on the blooding in dundalk from a massive watermain break. we'll be back throughout the evening. abc news is next.
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